Qi project: Bexley Intensive Case Management in Psychosis Team (ICMP)

Increasing cholesterol screening for clients with serious mental illness

Project leads:

Paula Marwood, Community Mental Health Nurse
Jacqueline Armstrong, Social Inclusion Recovery Worker

Reason for project:

Screening cholesterol levels is important in the early identification of cardiac disease.

Our aim:

  • To increase awareness of cardiac health
  • To improve the uptake of cholesterol screening by offering an alternative way of having a blood test.

What we did:

We reviewed the current process of clients with serious mental illness filling out a blood test form and then taking the form to hospital for a blood test.

Often clients refused a blood test or were unable to travel to the hospital for the appointment.

We promoted the use of a mobile cholesterol testing machine. Clients who refused a routine blood test were offered this instead. The mobile testing machine can test cholesterol levels with a simple finger prick blood test rather than a full blood test.

What we learnt:

During the six months trial of using the mobile testing machine, the uptake of cholesterol screening went up from 64% to 99.1%. A total of 45 clients were screened and it was found that 12 had high levels of cholesterol.

There were also other benefits, since less time was spent booking appointments or sending out letters and blood testing forms. Feedback from our clients highlighted their preference for the mobile testing machine, since they found the process of blood screening was quicker, much easier and they were able to get their results in just three minutes!


Future plans:

We plan to share our learning and results with other teams across Oxleas, providing advice and training to enable them to learn from our success.

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